Lobbying by hospitals, doctors, slows GOP health care drive

Ellen Mills
May 4, 2017

So why not insist on something similar to the airline industry for health care? A recent article in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent profiled a woman in Garfield County who is now choosing to forgo health insurance rather than pay for a plan that costs $1,000 in monthly premiums and comes with a $6,500 deductible.

Notice how the language dances around the issue; it tries to convince the reader that the rest of the bill doesn't exist by presenting an unsupported, overarching narrative.

Now, according to Trump, Ryan and co., every health insurance market is the country is currently unstable.

This woman's situation is not unique. In this way the healthier, less expensive people subsidize the cost of care for the less healthy, more expensive ones through their insurance premiums. My Republican colleagues in Congress agree that we must fix the health care system and lower health care costs for our constituents, but there are varying viewpoints about how to proceed. The MacArthur Amendment has multiple components (including risk pools), which are created to keep people enrolled in the insurance market.

The Affordable Care Act was among the likely factors that assisted with a big decrease - almost 50% - in personal bankruptcy filings in the last six years, according to a Consumer Reports analysis. It is essentially Obamacare with some permissive aspects-the totality of Obamacare minus most of its taxes, minus the individual and employer mandates, plus some potential freedom for states, but with it, mandates, penalties and billions of dollars of subsidies, without any guarantee of lower costs, greater choices or broader networks.

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama has defended the American Health Care Act (AHCA) amendment that would enable to states to waive off pre-existing condition protections that had been guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The changes are part of an effort in Republican-leaning Arkansas to take advantage of President Donald Trump's willingness to give states more flexibility in restricting coverage. Insurance is meant to be a safeguard against those types of situations - if that's not how it functions, what's the point in having it in the first place? Insurers excluded people with pre-existing conditions by charging them higher prices or denying them coverage entirely. The guarantee to cover those with pre-existing conditions and coverage for mental health and maternity care are among the more popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act. We know these things because they are a return to the broken system we had before the Affordable Care Act - one in which consumers were covered only so long as they never needed any coverage. Given the enormous funding shortfall looming for high-risk pools in the AHCA, there's no reason to think this time would be different. The waivers allow states to opt out of ACA standards setting minimum benefits that health plans must offer. Returning the power to set essential health benefits back to states will help allow insurance companies to craft plans that meet the needs of communities and drive down overall costs.

In Northern California, we will continue to work with local representatives and join other children's hospitals across the nation to remain vigorous advocates for children's health coverage and access. We should make it easier to use these tools by raising the caps on HSA and FSA contributions, as well as allow spouses to make "catch-up" contributions to the same HSAs.

Many Freedom Caucus members said they did not support the bill because it did not do enough to dismantle Obamacare - describing the legislation as "Obamacare lite".

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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